The Water Factor and its Impact on Farmers

If you have taken a look at Utah weather lately, an “Alert” warning of flooding is a common sight. An unusually high winter snowpack coupled with an exceptionally rainy spring is recipe for flooding. For most of us, this represents little beyond roaring rivers and later-than-usual snow lingering on popular hiking trails. But this year, the flooding has had a profound impact on Utah’s farmers. Reluctant to recede standing water can mean irrecoverable crop losses and wet, muddy conditions. The following pictures show you the impact that this season’s water has had on dairy farmers in Weber County.

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As you’ll see in the last three photos the problems are the wet conditions. Existing crops are dead or dying. Fields that normally would have been planted six or more weeks ago are soggy and growing weeds which sap all the nutrients for crops. Many are just hoping things will dry enough quickly enough so that they can plant a short season cover (sudan grass, etc) to try to get something to harvest. This loss of crop production is putting an even tighter squeeze on an already super-high priced feed market that is in short supply. There will be greater competition to buy feed,  IF it can be found. Since feed and supply costs are so high, milk prices to the farmer aren’t enough to break even even though the price today is comparatively high over the past few years.  Grim outlook.

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